Hear Leonard Cohen Talk About Touring, The Future, Country Music … 1993

David Dye writes about his 1993 interview with Leonard Cohen in World Cafe: Backstage With Leonard Cohen In 1993:

I went alone with a tape recorder. When Cohen arrived, he walked off the bus wearing a band jacket whose lapel had been embroidered with “Field Commander Cohen.” Commander Cohen was gracious as we settled into the reverberant dressing room. (Believe it or not, he thanked me for having the interest to interview him.) I can’t believe I had the chutzpah to call him the “Barry White of folk music.” What was I thinking? Well, I was thinking “deep voice, affinity for string arrangements” — and maybe that people listened while loving. Afterward, it was soundcheck time and I settled in to listen — until Cohen came over and ever-so-kindly explained that sound check was a ritual, a sacred moment for the band. And, uh, I wasn’t in the band. I did not stay for the show that night. But years later, in 2009, I witnessed one of the most moving shows ever at the Tower Theater in Philadelphia — and I feel myself blessed.

Topics covered include

  • The Future album
  • Democracy – Its writing and its scope
  • Closing Time – “Things as we know it are coming to an end”
  • County music – Leonard notes that growing up in Montreal he heard “French versions of country western standards” and that tour buses frequently traveled from Montreal to Nashville
  • Leonard holds that “renewal mechanisms” exist “from the Catholic church to AA”
  • His influence on young musicians
  • Pump Up The Volume
  • Stranger Music anthology

Clips are played from

  • “Democracy” (from The Future)
  • “Closing Time” (from The Future)
  • “The Future” (from The Future)
  • “Everybody Knows” (from I’m Your Man)

“[The Future] cements Cohen’s reputation as wry nineties ironist & all-round spokesman for the human condition. Little short of a bloody marvel.”

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This excellent new album continues the stylistic experiments inaugurated with I’m Your Man, with only a few nods to the jaundice folkiness that made him so popular with hypochondriacs and raving paranoiacs in the first place. Likewise, his lyrical concerns have broadened beyond familiar themes of seduction and betrayal, with numerous forays into the political amphitheatre and committed stabs into the belly of the cynical, hard-boiled nineties.quotedown2

 

From Leonard Cohen: The Future by Cliff Jones, Rock CD, December 1992. Found at Rock’s Backpages. Access full review at the link.

Signs Of Leonard Cohen: 1992 “The Voice Of The Soul” The Future Ad

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This rare, gorgeously designed and executed French advertisement for Leonard Cohen’s The Future album was published in Les Inrockuptibles (December 1992, n° 41, p 59). The heading, “LA VOIX DE L’ÂME …” translated into English is “THE VOICE OF THE SOUL…” From Dominique BOILE

Note: Originally posted Aug 6, 2012 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

Leonard Cohen on creating The Future album: “There’s flesh and blood attached to it …”

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[The Future] involved a four-year struggle; the songs, some of them, are eight, ten years in the works. The record is there for keeps. There’s flesh and blood attached to it. I did what was necessary, and I sit here kind of wrecked.quotedown2

Leonard Cohen

 

From No Mercy – Leonard Cohen’s Tales from the Dark Side by Anthony DeCurtis. Rolling Stone: January 21, 1993. Originally posted Jan 4, 2015 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“The landmarks are down and the lights have gone out and you’re holding on to your orange crate in the torrent and somebody goes by holding on to his broken flag staff. What is the appropriate behavior in this circumstance?” Leonard Cohen

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Screenshot from video of Barbara Gowdy-Leonard Cohen interview

So would you say as much as you can that you are what you write? That you stand by your songs?

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I would stand by them [my songs]. But I’ve been presenting this rap for a long time, which is a catastrophe has taken place, there’s no point in waiting for it, and somehow in the interior plane or the interior landscape a catastrophe has taken place, there is a flood going on… It’s been going on a a long time–I don’t know when the wave broke the wall. But I do believe we are in this torrent, that the landmarks are down and the lights have gone out and you’re holding on to your orange crate in the torrent and somebody goes by holding on to his broken flag staff. What is the appropriate behavior in this circumstance? Is it to declare yourself a conservative or a liberal or for abortion or against abortion? Those kinds of descriptions seem to be totally irrelevant to the situation. I prefer my descriptions of myself as they have developed over the years in my songs and books. I think that those descriptions are much more appropriate and, yes, I would stand by them.
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Leonard Cohen

 

From TV Interview by Barbara Gowdy. Broadcast Nov 19, 1992 on TVOntario and published in One on One: The Imprint Interviews, edited by Leanna Crouch (1994).

The You Want It Darker Lighter

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What more appropriate way to fire up that cigarette on the You Want It Darker album cover than this lighter bearing the logo from The Future album?

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Credit Due Department: Photos of lighter contributed by Mel Joss.

Note: These items were originally posted April 28, 2013 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric

“Helen’s Theme” By Leonard Cohen Featured On Cassette

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Dominique BOILE points out that this Columbia Records promotional cassette contains six of the nine tracks found on The Future album. Two of those three songs, “Always” and “Light As The Breeze,” are missing altogether, but the most interesting discrepancy is the cassette’s inclusion of “Helen’s Theme (Incidental Music)” as the final song instead of the album’s “Tacoma Trailer.”

“Helen’s Theme (Incidental Music)” was an early, shorter (four minutes long) piece that later became “Tacoma Trailer.”

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Note: Originally posted March 12, 2014 at DrHGuy.com, a predecessor of Cohencentric